Double-filing snafu exposes error in woman's tax return

February 22, 2013 8:48:57 PM PST
Tax season is in full swing and you may have noticed dozens of places popping up offering to file your returns for a fee. But just like any other service, it pays to shop around.

Before you sign any paperwork at a tax office, you'll want to hear about what is happening to one Houston woman and the trouble with her return.

Kayla McKnight says her first experience with taxes got off to a promising start.

"They told us that they would get us back $5,000," she said.

McKnight says tax preparers at Express Tax Service made that claim to she and a friend.

"So we ended up signing the application," she said.

McKnight says she thought the paperwork she signed was merely an application to have her taxes filed. But days later, McKnight says Express Tax Service called, saying it had a refund check for McKnight totaling more than $1,500.

And that's when her father, Jeff McKnight, stepped in.

"I told her at that point that we needed to talk to my tax preparer and see what is going on here and how to fix it," he said.

Jeff McKnight says it needed to be fixed because his tax preparer had also filed Kayla's return.

"They wanted to file an amendment to basically reverse hers out, but we needed all the tax paperwork to do that," he said.

Jeff McKnight says he needed a copy of her return, and Express Tax Service gave him some of the forms but not everything he needed to amend it.

And that's not all.

"We found out they had filed her as self employed, which she was not," Jeff McKnight said.

"Never signed anything that said I was self employed," Kayla McKnight added.

When we visited the company, an employee who did not want to appear on camera told us Kayla McKnight did claim to be self employed. However he provided no proof, saying instead he would turn over all the documents Kayla McKnight signed to the IRS.

Right now, Kayla McKnight's return is being held up until the IRS can resolve the matter.

According to the IRS, the preparer must give a full and complete copy of the return to the person who filed.

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